Boosters: How are we doing?
To date, the rate of recorded boosters is 80% for students, 91% for staff, and 97% for faculty. Any student who has not received a booster because their second vaccination date is still too recent should submit an exemption extension form.
The information provided below is for educational purposes and is not medical advice.
What if an unvaccinated student is a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19? Is the risk in such a case greater for the unvaccinated student, or for other people they would be in contact with?
It is true that an exposed person who is unvaccinated is at a higher risk of contracting COVID. An unvaccinated student who also has not had COVID-19 within the last 90 days needs to self-quarantine if they are a close contact. The quarantine should last for 5 days after being exposed to the infected individual. During the quarantine they are supposed to “stay in,” and should not attend classes. However, the relative risk of the things Oberlin allows them to do in your most recent protocol is so low that we would agree that getting a grab-and go meal from the cafeteria and going to the restroom is OK. Of course, the student must wear a mask at all times while doing those things.
If the student develops symptoms, immediately test with a rapid test. If the student leaves quarantine after 5 days, then the student should be tested sometime after that preferably with a PCR test; but a rapid test done then and repeated at 10 days is sufficient also. After leaving quarantine, continue to monitor for symptoms and wear a mask at all times while out for a full 10 days after their exposure, and monitor for symptoms for 15 days after exposure.
The risk is far greater to the other students they meet while they are “out and about” than to the exposed student. Any further exposure is completely independent of the first exposure. So they are under no increased risk. The other students have the potential to be exposed to a recently infected person, therefore they have the highest risk. Again, the risk of the exposed student just walking by others getting a grab-and-go meal and going to the restroom is exceedingly low.
If you have a question for Terri Buzzell, who provides medical expertise to the ObieSafe team, send it to email@example.com with the subject line ASK TERRI.
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